Committed to enriching the student experience, Professor of History Kevin Spicer, C.S.C. ’87, who was recently appointed the dean of the May School of Arts & Sciences, has taken his classes to historical sites abroad, has collaborated with colleagues to expand course offerings in the History Department and has worked to highlight the skills that history majors bring to the job market.

Recently appointed dean of the Thomas and Donna May School of Arts & Sciences, Fr. Spicer now plans to further cultivate the research and learning opportunities available to the Stonehill community. Author of numerous books and articles, he has researched extensively the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the German state under National Socialism. Here, Fr. Spicer shares a memorable teaching moment, a discovery from his research and the artwork he has in his office.

Most impactful teaching moment:

Encountering historical sites in Europe, such as Majdanek and Auschwitz, with students and colleagues, often as part of a Learning Community course. Students describe such an experience as life changing.

As dean of the May School of Arts & Sciences, one of my goals is to:

To provide the means for our Stonehill community to be enriched ever more deeply in research and learning.

Historical event that most interests me:

The Holocaust—humanity’s inhumanity exposed firsthand and the failure of Christianity to confront it.

Something surprising that I discovered in my research:

Accepted historical truths debunked. When one digs enough into the archives, alleged facts are disproved. Historian after historian, including Sir Martin Gilbert, has propagated the myth that Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich sent a truck to assist Munich’s Jewish community in moving precious religious items from the main synagogue before its destruction, in June 1938. In reality, Faulhaber never acted so altruistically. Instead, the archdiocese only sent a truck to pick up the synagogue’s organ, which it had purchased, knowing full well that the synagogue would be demolished a few days later.

Best memory of my student days:

During my senior year, Associate Dean Paul Gastonguay and Professor Judith Sughrue encouraged me to apply to the internship abroad program. My internship at Lambeth Palace in London introduced me to the area of history—church and state under National Socialism—that I have studied ever since. I want our Stonehill students to be able to have similar experiences.

Quote that inspires me:

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)

In my office, I have:

Artwork depicting St. Francis blessing creation and all of us.